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tv   NBC Nightly News  NBC  February 2, 2011 7:00pm-7:30pm EST

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tonight here in cairo, a big change. a crackdown by street gangs. there has been violence and gunfire, an ugly turn in the struggle for control of the world's largest arab nation. our team is on the ground and in place for our coverage tonight. we'll also have the biggest story across the u.s. "nightly news" begins now. news" begins now. captions paid for by nbc-universal television and good evening. once again from cairo, where today the atmosphere suddenly turned sour and toxic and is
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still disintegrating tonight, turning into a rock and molotov cocktail fight with open fires burning in front of the museum where 5,000 years of egyptian history is housed. it started unusually, the day o did, with new groups of protesters in different clustersvee we hadn't seen before. it was readily apparent they sxpki](t&háhp &h& were supporting hosni mubarak. it became clear later many of them were gangs of street thugs assembled for the occasion. some of them came in on horses, ç some of them came in on camels. and th&: n]r)ju through the lines of protesters who camped out and staked their home in the city square for days, making an inroad for the tonight the night air is still on 9uo n crackling with gunfire from automatic weapons, small caliber and large.j÷r
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they have turned that square into an open human combat space.vbhoz the number of injured starts s6 conservative -- see a lot from the fight with the light of day.!we bordering on that square, not far from our location here tonight we can candidly smell ÷ ç the smoke from the fires here. our own richard engle has been covering it all day with us.fx''eñ richard, good evening. >> reporter: good evening, brian. clashes are continuing"óvp protesters and supporters of president mubarak. here in tahrir squ presidentcc 1:mubarak. here in have broken out as the two sides exchanged molotov cocktails.p for now it appears the protesters have the upper hand.&é.1%1lx president mubarak proved he will pr not go down without a fight. ÷yn egypt ordered a crackdown against anti-government ianti-government demo troops, tanks or uniformed police.zñ6]íaz instead, it sent in goon squads n
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disguised as supporters of president mubarak.,d iç it was immediately clear these were not demonstrators.ñvi &háhp &h& thousands of mubarak supporters yxa5" mub charged into cairo's tahrir into square. protesters caught off guard by the surprise attack.nwmt the pro-mubarak demonstrators rushed the protesters on horseback. and with camels.eklaóz6 the protesters fought back, ripping mubarak supporters out of their saddles. supporters out of their the protesters claim many of the pro-mubarak supporters were in sf fact policemen. some were reportedly caught +9 ca carrying police i.d.have others appear to have been the same enforcerxuvóo su!arak stu has often used to stuff ballot boxes and forge elections. this time mubarak used the mobs ñzní g mub to save his presidency. by midday, tahrir square was a front line.tá]tquare the two sides battled with e two bricks, stones, even their fists.>=g1n(ñ
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the egyptian army did not intervene.íq it fired tear gas and warning gas shots, but mostly just watched and appealed for calm. 4)f÷ the goon squads also appeared to the have orders to hunt journalists.6géñnó they chased us down. >> the clashes have started to spread outside of tahrir square. there is also a lot of angry x]y people who are angry with lot journalists. ang >> reporter: the government f'ó claims it didn't send any mobs jo to attack the protesters who didn' want mubarak to leave the country, but that seems xa? wa implausible and the protesters don't belief it.try, b they arrived in coordinated y$ groups and seemed to have a single mission to attack. they were using military-style 1 tactics to seal off the square. the anti-government protesters are now trapped in the center of tahrir.test mubarak supporters have moved inyj!çç[x by the thousands to seal off all four corners of the square. off they have been moving toward thebob center. the that's where the heaviest the clashes have been. be we've seen molotov cocktails, r seen
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and both sides are dropping firebombs from the rooftops onto the crowds below.e?y qy in the darkness the two sides the battled to take control of he tahrir and its side streets, tahr using barricades to inch forward in the square, they fought with molotov cocktails, an all-out qmn pdy street war. president mubarak may have signalled the crackdown last mub night. in a televised speech, he said ni egyptians had to choose between ñ7 chaos an stability. today mubarak's choice was clear. in/ayketj )átu)áq" as a counter protest. protest leaders, brianlndi/n2.e spoken to from the middle of that battle say they would of rather die than surrender. brian. >> now, richard, this turned on brian. a dime.kk+' tur this went toxic so quickly today, looking back i don't know if there was one moment, but yuk- looking back one day, it's almost comical a piece of it's videotape we aired on the t45d÷ñ broadcast last night.videot you and i walking through the ght. plaza, we were given a cursory >[hç$
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plaz security check by civilians.íg$zç it was kind of an open air, boy zz;8b4 and the atmosphere. people had set up businesses. peop now if we'd make that same walk urban combat zone. what did we witness today? what happened?67ç did w >> this will probably bow what remembered as a turning point inbly egyptian history.gapir(t&háhp &hc if the protesters win, they believe they will win egypt.win, if they lose, they say they will they will win egypt. if they lose t more protests.cont it was relatively calm even in the morning today.it was there were a lot of families in cal the square. they weren't planning on having wni a biz7/ésú tration and then big suddenly starting just with the few thousand, the pro-mubarak supporters arrived in a wád5 coordinated effort. some of them arrived on buses and then throughout the day they1cwpç b were building and build and their strength grew. but now there aren't very many now of the pro-government demonstrators still in the square and the protesters seem squa to be gaining ground and have honing
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broken out of that encirclement, that barricade that they had oken o before.[añvhb: >> yesterday it seemed like every egyptian in the square wanted to be on camera.wúñ in th today those we encountered wanted to take our cameras. lester holt is with us.c'ed lester, you were out doing a camera story on the americans who decided to stay trying to prove úbéeq. to you how safe it is to be here when you ran into just one prongwxnto >> i did an interview with an american woman who's lived here a long time and feels safe. í we decided to go to her nd f neighborhood in her car.'l1í4 we turned a corner and there arecar. a bunch of mubarak supporters. there a person gets out and suddenly we get an argument.lwi>6z our car is trapped. we get out and no big deal. as we continue the rest of the bb#
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four hours today hooded, tied and questioned, interrogated d because someone saw them with a camepcmr we couldn't get back in. we ended up taking a boat across the nile to avoid having to walk the nile below our location was the main avo ingress route for the mubarak supporters. vx >> and so much gunfire here in m the city tonight, you and i were su running to the window to look at muc it.÷ú+7gpg you automatic weapons fire, varying ;c caliber. it. lester holt, richard engle, partthsón= of our team on the ground. p i spoke with one senior administration official tonight. with this changing so fast and 3> in such a toxic direction here that it was too much for us to keep up with, imagine what it's ,> reporter: good evening, brian. this is a combustible situation,]]$ñorter: as you well know.ombustib aides here are privately turning as up the heat on president mubarak.-zthbx president obama told mubarak he p has to move quickly. people here do not think he can
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hs'j÷ople h hang on until september. their primary goal is to see this situation in egypt v stabilize and no one thinks that can happen with mubarak still in that power, but publicly they're eé2yñll in still walking this very fine line.re we saw the press secretary, robert gibbs today, stop short ?vr4sdary, of saying that the president had told mubarak directly last night@w mubzejt)(q ow. >> i'm not going to get into mne)ñ flushing out someúg3ésiunto specifics of the conversation that was had. i thi#]hepress and change must come to cairo. progr progress and change must come to egypt and it needs to happen izfust quickly. >> i do not think the president could have been clear with the do no president of egypt last night. v9tlear >> reporter: and there are t ongoing conversations at all levels of the u.s. government o)tá with egyptian officials leaning on mubarak to make this move, make this move the as the white house likes to say. as but they don't want to publicly ally. as one senior aide said to me .s.
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here today, there are a lot of y audiences, including other re a allies in the middle east who are very, very uneasy. are very very said that the u.s. has gotten assurances from the egyptian otten military that they will not turnkaujy violent on the protesters. back to you. >í.bew(p$ guthrie at the white house tonight. savannah, thanks. richard engle had it right a savannah, thanks. rich a fight for egypt. a fight to take egypt or a fight to hold it.h÷h;í7t the fight is not just going on here in cairo. to the north, the mouth of the qmphe nile in alexandria, known in nile shorthand and english-speaking %&t i folks simply as alex, they have spea had some cases bigger crowds than they have had here in #,rni &háhp &h& cairo. well, it turned rotten quickly there today. our own ron allen standing by ;j;2z? with his report from alexandria. ron, good evening. you, brian.>> rep alexandria for the most part was spared the violence that you k alexandria for the most part was spared the but this is still a very tense cairo, place on edge.se nujrj )sráy, anger
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and emotion in the air and there are ang many indications that this could twm be the next flashúc$ld this is what happened as soon as,nñ we arw't% ñ as an encounter with hundreds of an supporters of president mubarak.zí jwosnúxs they turned on us blaming the foreign meade wra for not telling their side of the story. the president should never step down, they yelled and screamed. we turned off our camera and fled.ó38e here the trip here this morning, rs three hours down a main highway, had taken us far from the w8gñ$b$áhp &hc protests in cairo.protes few trucks and buses on the fe road. no one going to work. all signs of how the crisis has hb-hú) al brought this nation and its as already struggling economy to a halt.k we came to alexandria usually a t popular tourist destination l because of scenes like this here touri last night. tanks separating rival ni demonstrators after president c/8riiz mubarak's speech promising more ators democracy. >> what did you think of what ,7u44ygñ
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the president had to say? >> i don't think i cry..gj4ñ i cry about my people. he never think about us.4uwp >> reporter: the violence in viole cairo stoked passions here. thousands marching through town.íñ5
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unless they killed us, we are here. zgbcl >> reporter: a lot of passion.0ó there's been violence and bloodshed here during the early and days of the protestnhb!68ing now about a week ago. now and like in cairo, there are a ag lot of arms everywhere. everybo wíls to have a lot of weapon.-wwr drive through the streets and you can see people brandishing n t)áhp'd knives. for that reason a lot of and reporters here have been keeping a very low profile.n brian.v2c++z >> all right, you do so as well, ron allen, stay safe there in g8ó:! alexandria, as we've urged all the members of our team here on the ground in cairo.)%ugç[h th and you know how we've been reporting that this kind of people's uprising, especially óbmxó÷ç against long-term leaders could be a contagion in this region.l'] be a con well, in yemen today, the president there for 30 yeali; nñ announced, and if this sounds familiar look around here in egypt, announced he will not beòc(n(z i standing for re-election there. you'll recall the king of jordan yesterday preemptively dissolvedxóñ
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his own government.ivel so the yemeni president not he yemeni president not running again, install his son in office. a big issue here in egypt.j)wu # our coverage from this region will continue later on the broadcast when we hear from a ka 76-year-old woman from america trapped in her apartment here in cairo.f:ç but soon after this break, we'll go back to the u.s. the big story across the country.o9c we'll introduce you to the winter storm.[sêbxyv our own al roker called the largest geographical weather-making event in recent history.plp so i wasn't playing much of a role in my own life. but with advair, i'm breathing better. so now, i've got the leading part. advair is clinically proven to help significantly improve lung function. unlike most copd medications advair contains both an anti-inflammatory and a long-acting bronchodilator working together to help improve your lung function
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all day. advair won't replace fast-acting inhalers for sudden symptoms and should not be used more than twice a day. people with copd taking advair may have a higher chance of pneumonia. advair may increase your risk of osteoporosis and some eye problems. tell your doctor if you have a heart condition or high blood pressure before taking advair. if you're still having difficulty breathing take the lead. ask your doctor if including advair could help improve your lung function. get your first full prescription free and save on refills at advaircopd.com. (announcer) no matter what life throws at you you can take the heat. 'til it turns into heartburn you've got what it takes: zantac. it's strong, fast lasting relief. so let them turn up the heat. (sssssssss!!!) you can stop that heartburn cold: zantac. [ ding ] do you have something for pain? oh bayer aspirin? i'm not having a heart attack. it's my back. it works great for pain. [ male announcer ] nothing's proven to relieve pain better than extra strength bayer aspirin. it rushes relief to
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the site of pain. feel better? yeah. thanks for the tip. man: everybody knows you should save for retirement but what happens when you're about to retire? woman: how do you go from saving to spending? fidelity helped us get to this point, and now we're talking about what comes next. man: we worked together to create a plan to help our money last. woman: so we can have the kind of retirement we want. now, you know how this works. just stay on the line. oh, yeah. fidelity investments. turn here. back here in cairo, now as promised right back to the united states where the biggest x1ê news maker today was the biggest winter weather maker, the biggest blizzard of its kind in 75k years. 30 states in all touched by this one from\a%)q southwest all the way to maine in the northeast.]t
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million americans affected, some of them blizzard conditions.b=# we're talking two feet of snow plus in places like chicago, 'r @(t&háhp &h& where nbc's kevin tibbles is heading up our coverage there tonight. kevin, good evening. band of snow and ice that stretched on 2500 miles, á?.sç paralyzing travel, stranding people in their cars, and pummelling anyone who dared í venture outdoors. whiteouts. one of the hardest hit cities, chicago, where 20 inches of snow brought the windy city to its knees. ?vó?l >> wind gusts were between 60 and 70 miles an hour and visibility was at whiteout conditions. íl¥ >> reporter: headlines blared a nation's frustration. snow days, says one chicago we're on ice in indianapolis. "enough already" from peoria.[f in boston, simply "uncle." the national weather center qh lp
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called it crippling. anyone who dared to be out had to hang on for dear life../6f1 hundreds of vehicles trapped in whiteout conditions along chicago's lakeshore drive. ,#vebátq'ding some 15 hours going nowhere. the chicago fire department even60plñpt used snowmobiles to reach stranded motorists. airports remained deserted.á'%q nationwide this storm has forced the cancellation of close to 14,000 flights. in dallas, freezing temperatures just days before the super bowl.oy c in salem, new hampshire, cars tossed like toys as snow and ice glazed thy>+g3éq9ñ >> i'm peter alexander in boston. after a day with a punishing winter mix of snow, sleet and freezing rain, the concern across much of the northeast this evening is ice.itqh already slushy roads are beginning to freeze, and snow isulv0= soaking up rain like a sponge, raising the risk of collapsing roofs. t]áokr k 'h!ut in the midst of a winter wallop, a certain pennsylvania groundhog wandered out in search of his shadow.1i
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the verdict. >> so an early spring it will be!$iñe >> reporter: but for now, it's still winter, and folks will do whatever it takes to get through it all. rk and today for the first time since 1999, chicago public they'll be closed again tomorrow. what's next? well, just plummeting d]" ñg temperatures and dangerous windchills. brian, let's just hope that groundhog got it right.z7úçç[w >> absolutely. we're rooting for punxsutawney phil.l"d1h what an unbelievable winter of 2011 so far. kevin tibbles in chicago.2w >> reporter: root for me too.çd y kevin tibbles in chicago. thanks. when we come back, we'll go to australia with what they're dealing with tonight on top of 3#i3ó;t&háhp &hc the disaster they have been dealing with already.
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we share recipes. i'm your coworker. neighbor. teammate. -friend. -friend. -friend. [ male announcer ] over 7 million people nationwide have talked to their doctor about chantix. chances are you could be one of them. talk to your doctor. find out if chantix is right for you. back here in cairo, we go quickly now to australia. one of the great places on earth where they're having some of their worst times in memory. this time it's a hurricane, a 200-mile-an-hour category 5 katrina-style hurricane named yasi. they're known, of course, in that part of the world as cyclones, but by any other name this is a disaster on top of the flooding they have had this in the queensland district, as correspondent michelle tapper reports for us tonight. >> reporter: brian, well, it's been a frightening night here. we prepared for the biggest cyclone ever to hit the
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australian coast. it arrived around 10:00 last night and it was truly frightening, the sound of it. it sounded like a freight train coming through your room. there are several evacuation centers through town. most of them lost power from around 9:00 last night and i'm told a woman is currently in labor about to give birth in one of them. now, dawn is breaking here this morning. the cyclone has been downgraded. still lots of debris on the roads, lots of trees, lots of rubbish, pieces of metal. people are being warned to stay indoors until police give the okay. but at this point it does appear that we have been spared the worst of this truly terrifying category 5 cyclone. >> michelle, thanks. a correspondent for our affiliated network channel 7 in australia. quickly we want to update another major story we've been following for weeks here, an update on the condition of arizona congresswoman gabby giffords.
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her husband, the astronaut, mark kelly, put out on his twitter account today, quote, today was a huge day for gg. lots of progress. we have no more specifics, but we'll hope that means just that, the very best, as she continues to recover from that gunshot wound. we'll take another break here in cairo. we'll return with one of the true dramas playing out during this eroding situation here in egypt today. [ sneezes ] client's here. whoa! that achy cold needs alka-seltzer plus! it rushes multiple cold fighters,
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finally here tonight, we heard from a viewer of ours today, contacted us because he said his mother is trapped in her apartment here and is in trouble. her name, mary thornberry. originally from ft. worth, texas. she moved here years ago to study ancient egyptian history. 76 years old. has an apartment on the square. normally terrific real estate, except when it's been turned over to the protests. mary told us when we called her by phone she knew she was in trouble when 12 men came to her apartment, broke the glass in her front door. >> when he broke the glass, he reached his hand in and was attempting to take the key out of my door so he could get in.
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i managed to get that and i now have my key on my body. since then, about every five minutes or so, they would be yelling, ringing the doorbell, beating on the door, so that's what's been going on the last 20 minutes or so it's been much calmer. i think they're trying to get a little sleep. i figured they would sleep in the hallway for the night so they won't be out in the cold. >> how worried are you about your safety? >> i have a sharp knife. i have hot water. i have my walking cane and i have my rolling pin, so that's my armor. i really don't want to leave because the place will be vandalized, and it's my home. i just wish someone would come and take these thugs away and let me go on with my life. i have nobody but myself. i don't have a spouse, i don't have an employer, i don't have
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any institution backing me. >> she's going to defend herself. one of many dramas playing out here. we'll keep you updated. on behalf of our team here on the ground in cairo, i'm brian williams. we'll look for you tomorrow evening. for all of us here, good night. -- captio host: could switching to geico really save you 15% or more on car insurance? host: whou live under a

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